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Henry Ford Health System
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for home health care?

To receive Medicare-certified home health care services, a patient must meet the following criteria:

1. A patient must be under the care of a doctor who establishes and regularly reviews a plan of care.
2. A doctor must certify that a patient needs one or more of the following:

  • Intermittent skilled nursing care (care that’s needed or given less than 7 days a week)
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech-language therapy services
  • Continued occupational therapy

3. A patient must be certified by a doctor that he or she is homebound.  To be homebound means the following:

  • Leaving home isn’t recommended because of the patient’s condition.
  • The patient’s condition prevents leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person).
  • Leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort.¹

Source: ¹ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicare and Home Health Care

If a patient receives home health care services, is he or she able to leave home?

According to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a patient may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, such as attending religious services.¹

Source: ¹ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicare and Home Health Care

How does Medicare-certified home health care differ from private duty?

Unlike Medicare-certified home health care, private duty services do not require a physician’s referral, but services are almost always paid for by the individual.  Care can be customized according to the client’s preference, including the number of visits and the length of service, and include non-skilled services such as food preparation and hygiene assistance. Henry Ford at Home’s private-duty provider is Henry Ford Extended Care.

Will my insurance pay for Henry Ford Home Health Care services?

Payment for Henry Ford Home Health Care services may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), other health maintenance organizations (HMOs), other preferred provider organizations (PPOs), commercial insurance or private pay. If you are uncertain, you may call us at (313) 874-6500 to inquire.

What types of services will I receive?

During your home health episode, you may receive all or just some of the following services from the Henry Ford Home Health Care team, which includes skilled nurses; physical, occupational and speech therapists; medical social workers; dietitians and home health aides.

A skilled nurse will perform a medication assessment, home safety assessment, check your vital signs and assess for needs in your home such as medical social work or home health aide services.
The initial visit will take place between 24 and 48 hours of discharge from the hospital. On average, the nurse will visit 1 to 3 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes per visit for continued assessment and teaching regarding medications, safety, disease process, wound care, signs and symptoms of infection and avoidance of rehospitalization. Your plan of care will be based on your individual needs.

Physical and occupational therapists help patients regain strength, endurance and motor skills that may have been lost due to illness or injury. If ordered by your physician, a physical therapist will provide an individual assessment; education on the use of assistive devices for ambulation and prosthetic care, if required; and fall prevention and home safety. The home safety assessment will evaluate your mobility within your home environment and find ways to best reduce your risk of falls.  The initial physical therapy visit will take place within 24 to 48 hours of discharge from the hospital. Therapy will continue 1 to 3 times a week for up to 9 weeks, based on your individual needs.

If needed, an occupational therapist will provide an individual assessment; teach ways of safely performing activities of daily living, including recommendations and instruction on use of adaptive equipment; and provide instruction on modifications within the home. The initial occupational therapy visit will take place within 48 hours of discharge from the hospital. Therapy may continue 1 to 3 times a week up to 9 weeks, based on your individual needs.

Some patients may need the services provided by a speech-language pathologist. The speech language pathologist helps treat communication disorders including speech impairments and hearing problems, as well as swallowing disorders.

A home health aide will be referred by the nurse if there is a need for assistance with personal care. Home health aides assist the patient with bathing, linen changes, oral care, hair care, etc.  If the nurse identifies a need and it is agreed upon, the aide will make 1 to 3 visits each week.

A medical social worker may be referred to assess the emotional impact of illness or injury, provide short-term therapeutic counseling and make referrals to community agencies.

If your illness requires you to follow a modified diet, you may be referred to a dietitian. The dietitian will provide education and information on how following a healthy diet can improve your outcomes and prevent complications.  The dietitian may also help you develop a diet plan that supports low-cholesterol, cardiac, renal or diabetic needs.